The Illusion of Progress
"There are six billion of us on a miraculous planet, drifting through endless nothingness," and instead of doing everything possible to preserve this earthly paradise, we are doing everything to speed up its destruction. Frédéric Back cannot remain insensitive to this universal tragedy. It was "this spectacularly senseless race towards the abyss" that inspired him to take a stand and he continues to fight today. In 1971, he wrote: "Not one newspaper, not one TV program is doing the kind of regular item on pollution that they do for sports or the stock market. We let the public stumble around in their ignorance, their contempt for and continued poisoning of Nature, and their consumerism." He reproaches government for implementing half-measures without taking a hard look at how they define "progress" and at the environmental consequences of a consumer society. Today, organizations that pursue this fight, or are just starting to fight, are echoing Frédéric Back's words and displaying his drawings, posters and films – sadly, seen now as prophetic.